Washing machine not working

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Chris wrote:

What a brain trust we have around here.
The problem is the start capacitor on the motor.
You might have burned the motor out by now with all your messing around.
Go look up some place around you that does appliance repair and sells used appliances and ask if they have any used capacitors they'd sell you. Should be able to pick one up for $5 or $10.
The capacitor will look like a D-cell battery, black in color, with 2 wires going to it. Take the capacitor with you. It will have one or two long serial numbers on it, as well as a value in MFD. Anywhere from 190 to 350 MFD probably.
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On Saturday, July 12, 2014 7:46:09 AM UTC-4, H o m e G u y wrote:

That's one possibility.
I always ask three questions: what could it be, what else could it be, how could I tell the difference?
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On 7/12/2014 11:11 AM, TimR wrote:

and both fairly easy to test. Once you get the cover off, check both.
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In typed:

Here's one of the videos from the repairclinic.com website showing how to test a capacitor: http://www.repairclinic.com/PartDetail/b5p11/Whirlpool-Washing-Machine-Capacitor/3429938/530761#repairHelpVideoTabs
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Stormin Mormon wrote:

A motor that doesn't turn because of a dead capacitor will hum, and get hot, and if you're lucky trip a thermal fuse. But it should also give off a smell of burned varnish - unless that has already happened and it doesn't do it anymore because the windings are now shot.
And regarding the capacitor test (someone posted a video) - that's bullshit.
I've measured washing machine capacitors with a capacitance meter and they measure perfectly good - but in-circuit they don't work. And testing them with a volt meter (looking for a transient blip on the needle) is also a joke - because old capacitors that have lost their "capacity" will pass that test but again they won't work in-circuit.
Only a shorted cap is testable with a meter, and if it really is shorted then I'm thinking a fuse is going to blow somewhere when you try to start the appliance.
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TimR wrote:

Have you seen how many wires are going to a typical washing machine motor?
So good luck with that question.

The "real pros" carry spare parts (and boards) and swap them in until it works. Don't give them more credit than they're worth.
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On Saturday, July 12, 2014 3:35:23 PM UTC-4, H o m e G u y wrote:

The homeowner doesn't have a rack of spare parts to test. And there's some times a bit of intellectual satisfaction in figuring it out, buying only on e part, and fixing it right the first time.
Not that it happens real often. YMMV.
You're right about not all mechanics operating at that level. When I super vised maintenance, most did not fit that category but were competent enough at the easy and medium stuff. I did not waste the ace mechanic on an easy job, I sent the dumbest guy. Often enough he could fix it, when he couldn 't I sent the next smartest guy.
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wrote:

Front loadign or top loading. Oh, you don't say directly but you talk about the lid.
If top, does it agitate?
If it does, to switch from agitate to spin, there is a solenoid that gets activated and a metal part that the solenoid moves from one end of an elongated hole to another (or something like that.) I think this also changes the pump from recirculate to eject. Find the solenoid and check it for continuity. Then while the machine is running, when it should be draining or spinning, check to see if there is 110VAC on one or the other terminal of the solenoid (measuring from one terminal to the other is fine too, if you can get the probes in without disconnecting the solenoid. If you can't, measure the voltage of the wires that connected to the solenoid.
Remember this has 110 volts and there is water involved. If you stay perfectly dry, and you know how not to touch electically charged parts, you'll be fine.
If the solenoid has no continuity, buy a new one. They've probably used the same one for 40 years, 1950 to 90 or longer. so if you find a junk machine, you can probably use that one. If it fits, it will work. Cut off the electrical connector when you get the junk solenoid in case they changed that,
If the solenoid has continuity but no voltage, I guess it's a bad solenoid switch in the timer. Seems less likely. But it can be fixed too.
My Whirlpool is from 1979 and still working fine. I had to tighten the belt once, and that took me two tries to get it tighter.
The Inperial was a good model. It represented Whirlpool's abandoning its plan to control an empire, so the Imperial was discontinued and, to represent more inward thinking and planning, the Inperial was developed. Most people don't know all this or know if the Inperial was top-loading or front-loading.
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wrote:

Okay. What' the difference between TimR and TomR and how can I tell?
My parents always told me not to judge a person by his vowels.
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In typed:

For the record, and speaking only as and being TomR, the answer is that I don't know who TimR is, and there is no connection between any posts by TimR vs. by TomR. But I agree that it can be a little confusing since the two names are so similar. Maybe I'll modify, change or morph my posting name at some point.
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Not because of me, I hope. I was just joshing and I can tell the difference between an o and an i.
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wrote:

You can hear the cycle dial motor? Without putting your ear right down on the machine at the dial? Or at least putting your ear with an inch of the dial?
On one of my machines the motor would indeed become disconnected if I put an unbalanced load in it. During spin, the basket would swing back and forth until it pulled the connector off.
With the machine I have for the last 31 years, that's never happened. Either I was taught my lesson by the other machine and I don't put in unbalanced loads anymore, or the machine has a way to balance them, or they left more slack in the wire, so it doesn't come off.
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On Sat, 12 Jul 2014 01:01:09 +0200, nestork

Whirlpool has or had a "cool line", where they had actual repairmen who would give advice on what to do. The OP should see if they still do. They were great.
The last time I had a problem I couldn't solve was over 30 years ago, but on that occasion, I called them about 4 times and they were always patient, and never told me, Well for that step you need to call a repairman. Instead they were with me until the end. They waited until I wanted to hang up and try what they had told me. When I called back the next day, I'd get someone else, but he was just as patient. One time I got a woman, but she knew here stuff too, wasn't just reading from a script.
The machine was probably 20 years old when I found it on the sidewalk and I used it for 5 years or so, but not often, and eventually it wouldn't agitate. I forget what all I did first, but eventually he wanted me to unscrew the cap of the agitator, remove the bolt, and remove the whole agitator. I think I did all that. Then he want ed me to remove the basket, and that just wouldn't come off. The main bearing was rusted through, so it wouldnt' turn and it wouldn't let lose from either the basket or the motor shaft inside. So I threw the thing away.
A few months later I found one just as big (full size), in forest green color, on the sidewalk even closer to my apartment than the first one (The first one was half a block away and I had to go get the building's dolly to bring it home. The second was right across the street and had its own wheels. When you got it where you wanted it, there was a 30" lever on the back that would retract the wheels so it stood still. It was designed to be rolled across the kitchen floor to connect with the sink, but my apartment was big enough I could keep it permanently by the double sink.) That was still working when I left NYC and I think I rolled it 4 blocks to a friend's who used it.
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In typed:

No problem. I knew that it was just a little humor on your part.
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